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  • About Steve Stroh

    In 1996, I was fascinated to discover that providing Internet Access via wireless technologies was not only possible, but being done routinely by a small band of pioneering Internet Service Providers. By mid-1997, I was writing professionally about Broadband Wireless Internet Access (BWIA), first as a monthly columnist in Boardwatch Magazine.

    In 2000, I began writing about BWIA full time in my own blogs, for numerous other publications, and FOCUS On Broadband Wireless Internet Access, my subscription newsletter.

    From 2008 - 2015, I took a hiatus from writing about BWIA, but my interest in BWIA did not wane. In 2016, I was able to resume writing full time, and I formed Zero Retries to publish a family of subscription newsletters about Broadband Internet Access using various wireless technologies, not just fixed link terrestrial page.

    Send me email at Zero Retries.

  • About the
    BWIA News Blog

    The Broadband Wireless Internet Access (BWIA) News Blog is a publication of Zero Retries.

    The BWIA News Blog provides brief mentions of selected developments in the Wireless industry relating to providing Broadband Internet Access, and related fields, technologies, and industries.

    Significant developments are often discussed in depth in the BWIA News Newsletter. The BWIA News Blog also features previews of the BWIA News Newsletter - subscription information here.

    In 2016, the BWIA News Blog was restarted as a supplement to the BWIA News Newsletter. From 2008-2015, the BWIA News Blog was largely on hiatus. From its inception through 2008, the BWIA News Blog and the FOCUS On Broadband Wireless Internet Newsletter provided original, independent, unique, in-depth, dedicated perspective on significant developments in the BWIA industry.

    The BWIA News blog includes content that has been consolidated from previous sites, the FOCUS On Broadband Wireless Internet Newsletter, other blogs by Steve Stroh, and original content from Steve Stroh dating back to 1997 when he began writing professionally about Broadband Wireless Internet Access.

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October 23, 2008


Charles Brown

Hi Steve,

I was wondering about your views of aggregate bandwidth capability for providing what could legitimately be called "broadband" over the 6MHz channels in the white spaces. I never see that topic discussed anywhere either. What do you think we are we talking about here in terms of BWIA?

I take your point about "increments" in regulatory matters, but I would like to remind that the Part 15.247 rules were pushed from being visionary, infrastructure class BWIA in 1985 to short-range WLAN devices, especially with regard to the power rules. To my mind, this was hardly positive "regulatory evolution" even it did result in new technology development within the confines of 802.11. One could argue the opposite point, i.e., what could we have seen in product development and alternative access infrastructure had the original vision of 15.247 prevailed in its original form? It seems to me that this is a history lesson worth noting as well.

Steve replies:

Charles - agreed that 15.247 could have been so much more. Our mutual colleague Dewayne Hendricks has educated me about how much grander was the original vision than what actually came to be allowed. But, politics... and the FCC is all about politics... has been called "the art of the possible" and I think that applies to 15.247. It's taken decades longer than we hoped to see some of the real potential of license-exempt spectrum usage, but it's finally happening.

As for white spaces... well... 15 years or so ago, Alvarion was able to achieve 3 bits/Hz - a FHSS system that achieved 3 Mbps in a 1 MHz channel. That's old technology now, but even using a conservative 5 MHz channel to provide for some guard bands, that's a potential 15 Mbps. And, there's nothing to prevent systems from aggregating adjacent channels, so you really aren't "stuck" with "just" a mere 6 MHz channel.

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